I saw quite a few of them on the planes on my Montreal trip this weekend, and among them what appeared to be attorneys working on contract editing. Some productivity-oriented survey participants considered the tablets to be inefficient.
An interesting outcome was the result that users do not consider them very portable, although clearly on an airplane they are terrific for watching movies and more portable than a laptop [which usually can't be opened in coach] and better viewing than a portable DVD player which I'm not seeing much any more. More than 60% of the UK respondents in a usage study by Cooper Murphy Webb said they rarely or never took their iPad when they left home, while just 5% said they did so always.
As always, the research underlying these studies ultimately focuses on the effect of adoption for marketers and publishers.
The focus on content consumption rather than creation should be a boon for both marketers and publishers, who are hoping to generate revenues through app sales and ad support. Likely because users were impressed with applications optimized for the iPad, including iBooks and the Apple eReader app, newspapers, magazines, books and gaming are some of the top uses of the iPad so far. Maybe no one else will be, but I was surprised to see it considered a top gaming device by owners of the tablets, beating out consoles by 2 percentage points. Conclusions indicate the tablet is building the reputation content owners and advertisers hoped for as an entertainment-oriented device.
So stay tuned as the innovators among us view the device and these types of survey results to come up with new ways to enjoy and profit from it.